Recently the internet has been shouting about the playlist on the new Guitar Hero game and just how bloody good it is. Of course, there are some songs that just can’t be played on a guitar controller – or at least that’s what six-string aficionado Ol Drake thinks! Don’t expect to be button-bashing along to any of these in the near future…
Magic Elf – Calamity Castle This track is a bizarre prog song but with some insane guitar playing. It’s fusion of jazz and rock – maybe a bit of metal too. The parts to play would be extremely challenging on the GH buttons.
**Guns N’ Roses – November Rain **A widely-known track, but if you actually sit down and listen to/try to learn the guitar parts, especially in the latter half of the song, Slash plays some mind-bending runs which defy a linear concept of timing or regular approaches.
**Michael Angelo Batio – Speed Kills **A ridiculously fast-picked track with years upon years of practice on a real guitar behind it. Many arpeggios, three-note-per-string string-skipping picking, soulful, well-written melodies, all combined would make a hugely challenging GH track.
**Yngwie Malmsteen – Now Your Ships Are Burned **I always loved this song from a guitar-playing point of view. There’s a lot of hammer-and-pulled triplets in the main riff at a tempo that would make it difficult on a plastic guitar, and a lot of fast changes between notes. Its going between octaves across strings would be interesting to see on Guitar Hero, and definitely be a challenge.
**Cacophony – Speed Metal Symphony **A track with Marty Friedman and Jason Becker on it isn’t going to be easy. It’s not going to even be hard; it’s going to be impossible. I know this –and other tracks – have had custom charts done, but they’re still impossible. Nearly ten minutes of this shredding, I can’t even begin to explain the track guitar-wise…
Metallica – Damage Inc This might just be going off playing it on a real guitar, but to get this song correct takes a lot of skill – mostly on rhythm. James is so precise and constant that this would be tough to get right. Kirk’s solos, at times, can be quite off-the-wall, and due to his own unique playing, makes some things timing-wise quite hard to follow.
**Pantera – Message in Blood **Dimebag.
The New Tony Williams Lifetime – Red Alert The British guitarist Allan Holdsworth plays on this – if you’re a guitarist and you haven’t heard him, you 100% need to. I struggle to believe this is playable in real life, let alone on Guitar Hero, so this definitely gets an ‘impossible’ vote!
**Annihilator – Imperiled Eyes **Some very technical work here by Jeff Waters which would translate amazingly to Guitar Hero. The solo is brilliant and the end of it, going back into the last verse, would trip a lot of people up. Definitely up there in difficulty!
Ol Drake – Han Valen This Old Rake guy is stupid on and off the guitar. There are some extremely hard-to-play parts in the song which even he struggles to play properly, it’s that hard. 32nd notes and quintuplets at an up-tempo speed would make this a challenge. What an idiot; why doesn’t he just quit? Oh, wait.
Ol Drake’s upcoming solo album Old Rake is out 22nd June via Earache Records.